Maybe the Peter Pan story and the Toys R Us theme song have gotten stuck in the heads of today's 20-somethings. Many of them just don't want to grow up, as the NYTimes recently pointed out.
The main point of the 10-page article is this: "Sociologists traditionally define the 'transition to adulthood' as marked by five milestones: completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying and having a child. In 1960, 77 percent of women and 65 percent of men had, by the time they reached 30, passed all five milestones. Among 30-year-olds in 2000, according to data from the United States Census Bureau, fewer than half of the women and one-third of the men had done so."
Yup. The road to adulthood is longer these days (for most people). Lots of adult children are living with their parents. But why? Is it because of the softening of parenting styles, with moms and dads who encourage or enable their kids to do whatever they wish (even if that's nothing)? Is it the bad economy, saturated with more experienced people? Is it because of the "free love" movement that made it more acceptable to date around before settling down with a lifelong partner? Have we watched too much reality TV and read too much about celebrity lifestyles, thinking it's easy to be rich, famous, or at least set for life by doing little to nothing at all? As the article points out, with more people living into their 80s and 90s, maybe it's good for kids to prolong major life decisions that they'll half to live with for more than 50 years.
Younger kids might be growing up too fast, but older "kids" are growing up real slow. Are we still kids until we have kids?
It's complicated. But here's the deal, kids: Pursue your dreams over your lifetime, but get a job today – even if it's not the greatest one. Most people don't make it in this world by sitting on the couch, eating mom's spaghetti in their PJ's, and watching a marathon of The Jersey Shore. Even if college or more schooling is not your thing, there are other great options.
In terms of simple love advice, I have none. In an era when "boys will be boys" applies to men George Clooney's age, I wish all the young ladies out there a lot of luck.